Urangan mum-of-two Annalysse Evans says she prefers to cover up while breastfeeding but has no problem with mums who openly breastfeed their babies.
Urangan mum-of-two Annalysse Evans says she prefers to cover up while breastfeeding but has no problem with mums who openly breastfeed their babies. Alistair Brightman

Kochie's 'discreet' breastfeeding comment may put mums off

A FEW ill-chosen words can make a big impact on whether a mum decides to breastfeed, says a Hervey Bay maternity nurse.

Kerri Green, manager of Hervey Bay Hospital's maternity unit, said recent comments by television host David Koch about a mum who was asked to stop breastfeeding alongside a public pool could turn Fraser Coast mums off the practice.

David Koch commented that mothers should be more "discreet" when breastfeeding their babies.

Ms Green said incidents like that could impact on a woman's self esteem and make them decide against breastfeeding.

"It is discrimination," she said.

"We are trying to get young people to embrace this practice."

It is illegal to ask a woman to stop breastfeeding in public and expectations that a woman would go to a bathroom to breastfeed were inherently unfair, Ms Green said.

She said it was interesting how society seemed to be more comfortable with seeing breasts presented in a sexual way, on television and in advertising, rather than asexually when a mother was nursing her baby.

Ms Green questioned why people would want to send babies, who were some of the most vulnerable members of the community, into a bathroom to feed.

She recalled breastfeeding in the 1970s, when discrimination was rampant.

Ms Green said she was asked to leave restaurants, even though she used a blanket to cover herself and the baby.

Society has come a long way since then, but there was still room for improvement, she said.

Urangan mum-of-two Annalysse Evans said women who felt confident enough to openly breastfeed in public should be able to do so.

While she preferred to cover up while feeding her two-month-old son Oliver, she said she had no problem with mums who openly breastfed their babies.

Why breast is best

  • It provides warmth and closeness
  • It's easier for a baby to digest
  • It doesn't need to be prepared

Should mums cover themselves and their babies when breastfeeding in public?

This poll ended on 27 January 2013.

Current Results

Yes

56%

No

32%

Sometimes

10%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.